Christmas in Afghanistan, Camp Bastion


3rd edition from LCpl Sian Davies 128Fd Coy REME

The good thing about doing a winter tour is that the time is broken up by Christmas. I was unsure what the Regiment would do for Christmas and New Year; whether it would be just like any other working day or whether we would be celebrating the festivities at our home away from home.

Come the 01st December decorations started to appear throughout CampBastion. The cookhouse, the Naafi and the coffee shop were soon scattered with tinsel, trees and nativity scenes. The LAD decorated the rest room and bed spaces were filled with Christmas cards and fairy lights.

Many people here were spending Christmas away from husbands, wives and children. However, that did not stop people from eventually getting into the Christmas spirit.

Ready for the Christmas morning activities with Pte McArvail, Pte Neil and Lcpl de Ste Croix

Ready for the Christmas morning activities with Pte McArvail, Pte Neil and Lcpl de Ste Croix

As ever, work is always a priority for the LAD, so it was unfortunate that the section heads still had to go to the LAD workshop on Christmas Day morning to get the vehicles ready for the CLP on Boxing Day. For the rest of us, we were greeted early doors by our OC and Tiffy with a morning brew and Christmas welfare present. Once we were up and about, the Regiment had a small service by the Padre, to include a carol service. We then participated in a brief aerobics session and some competitive games. Spirits were high and there were some interesting Christmas outfits!

We were then marched as a Regiment to our Christmas lunch. The food was absolutely delicious, a perfectly cooked Christmas dinner! I was sure to leave the cookhouse swiftly though before the traditional food fight started.

Queuing up for traditional Christmas Dinner

Queuing up for traditional Christmas Dinner

After a couple of hours downtime we made our way over to the LAD for secret santa and games afternoon. Cfn Harrison and Cfn Johnson organised a Connect 4 competition, Christmas Quiz and Bingo. We finally headed back to the accommodation late afternoon ready for a DVD night and more food.

It was something of a surreal experience having Christmas Day in Afghanistan, miles away from loved ones and spent with people I had only met some 4 months previous. Luckily for me, Lcpl de Ste Croix is also placed with the LAD from 128 Fd Coy, so having a friend from home over the festivities definitely helped take the edge off being in such unfamiliar circumstances.

I was absolutely spoilt by friends and family from home. I had piles of Christmas presents sent over and lots of nice festive food. It certainly made me extremely grateful to have friends and family who care so much and made such an effort to keep me smiling on Christmas Day.

As for New Years Eve, the celebrations were a little less lively. I headed over to Bastion 1 to catch up with some friends from my TA Battalion. We had pizza, coffee and topped the night off with a Becks Blue. I headed back to the accommodation and saw the New Year in with other members of the Regiment. We were lucky enough to be given the following morning off.

Myself and Lcpl de Ste Croix seeing in the New Year with a Becks Blue

Myself and Lcpl de Ste Croix seeing in the New Year with a Becks Blue

Once we were back at the LAD the festivities were well and truly over and work now continues as normal; Christmas and New Year just a distant memory.

Now over half way through the tour I am looking forward to going on R & R. Time really is flying by and once I am back off R & R the count down to end of tour will be on.

For more information on 128 Field Company REME please visit http://www.serfca.org/en-gb/reservists/ta/128fieldcompanyreme.aspx

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